The Corporate Insolvency and Governance Act 2020 (“CIGA“) ushered in a flexible restructuring compromise or arrangement for companies in financial difficulty (the “Restructuring Plan“). The legislation governing the Restructuring Plan sits alongside that for schemes of arrangement and is included in a new Part 26A to the Companies Act 2006.
The Restructuring Plan does not apply to companies that are solvent with no risk of insolvency; rather it only applies to companies where two conditions have been satisfied:
- condition A: the company has encountered, or is likely to encounter, financial difficulties that are affecting, or will or may affect, its ability to carry on business as a going concern; and
- condition B: a compromise or arrangement is proposed between the company and (a) its creditors, or any class of them; or (b) its members, or any class of them; and the purpose of the compromise or arrangement is to eliminate, reduce or prevent, or mitigate the effect of, any of those financial difficulties.
A Restructuring Plan may be proposed by the company, or its creditors, shareholders, liquidators or administrators. When the insolvency reforms were originally proposed, it was intended that the company be given exclusivity for a certain period to propose the Restructuring Plan, mirroring the position in the US; however this is not included in CIGA.